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Canvas Release Notes (2020-10-17)

Canvas Release Notes (2020-10-17)

In this Canvas release (October 17), users can view a list of recently visited pages in the Global Navigation Menu. Additionally, the user-level and course-level notification pages have been updated for design simplification in managing notifications in each location.

 

For all resources and feedback information related to this release, see the Release Resources section at the end of this document.

Related Links

 

New Features

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Global Navigation

Recent History

 

Affected Canvas Areas

Global Navigation Menu

Beta/Test Environment Support

No—page views are not supported

Permissions

N/A

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Video

Global Navigation: Recent History (2020-10-17 Release)


Summary

The Global Navigation Menu includes a Recent History link, which displays recently visited pages in Canvas.

Change Benefit

This change helps users remember what page they last viewed in one or multiple courses.

Affected User Roles

All Users

The Global Navigation Menu includes a Recent History link. This History link displays the most recent pages viewed in Canvas up to the last three weeks. Page content is displayed by title.

Recent History Link in Global NavigationRecent History Link in Global Navigation

 

Admins

Page history is identical to the information found in a user’s page views or the user access report.

Acting as a student displays recent history for the student, not the page views created by the admin.

 

Instructors

Any pages that are removed from a course will remain in the history, but the link will no longer be valid. Course content should be completed and verified before the course is published for students.

Page history is not supported in the beta or test environments. Accessing the Recent History link in either environment displays an individual link notifying users that Recent History is unavailable. The link directs to the Canvas Guides article about using the Beta or Test environments, respectively.

Recent History Link in Test EnvironmentRecent History Link in Test Environment

 

Updated Features

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Notifications

Notification Preferences Interface Updates

 

Affected Canvas Areas

Account Notifications, Course Notifications

Beta/Test Environment Support

Yes

Permissions

N/A

Affects User Interface

Yes

Affected User Roles

All Users

Feature Video

Notifications: Notification Preferences Interface Updates (2020-10-17 Release)


Summary

The user-level Notifications page has been updated to match the design of the course-level Notifications page. Additional enhancements have been added to clarify notifications between each level.

Change Benefit

These changes align the user interface for consistency, remind users about notification overrides at either the course or user levels, and improve navigation.

Affected User Roles

All Users

The user-level Notifications page has been updated to match the design of the course-level Notifications page. This page includes a banner reminding users that account-level notifications apply to all courses. 

The name of the Account Notifications page is also included in the breadcrumb trail for easier navigation.

Additionally, for the Grades notification, the Send Scores in Emails option has also been added as a course-level notification preference.

User Account Notifications PageUser Account Notifications Page

 

Notifications for individual courses can be changed within each course and override user account notifications. The Course Notifications page also includes a banner notifying users about these overrides.

Course Notifications BannerCourse Notifications Banner

 

Other Updates

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Assignments

Student Enhancements Production Availability


The Student Enhancements Beta Feature can be allowed by a Canvas admin in the production environment. Previously this feature was only available in the beta environment.

For details about this feature, please see New Student Enhancements User Group.

 

Courses

MathJax Equation Improvements 


Summary

The MathJax JS library has been improved to render equations in a more accessible format and promote ease of use. Math equations created anywhere in Canvas will be rendered as MathML. 

Change Benefit

This change improves accessibility for equations throughout Canvas. Previously, equations were treated as an image and included title attributes and alternative text and were not available to keyboard users. Additionally, image views varied by browser and screen readers, equations could not be copied, and alternative text could be inadvertently changed or removed. 

Affected User Roles

All Users

For both new and existing content throughout Canvas, equation rendering has been replaced by MathJax.

Additionally, MathJax offers a context-menu providing functions for interacting with the equation.

erinhallmark_0-1601068537633.png

 

 

Change Log

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2020-10-15

Updated Features—Added Recent History feature clarification for admin and instructor roles

2020-09-28

Updated Features—Added Feature Video Links

2020-09-21

Other Updates—Added Courses: MathJax Equation Improvements

2020-09-21

Published Release Notes

 

Release Resources

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User Summaries

Release features are summarized for individual roles in the User Summaries page.

Canvas Chat

Want to chat with other customers about any of these features? Sign up to view and join our Collaborative Release Chats in the CanvasLIVE Calendar. Chats take place ten days after these notes are published. 

New Feature Screencast

View a screencast of all the updates included in this release in the New Feature Screencast page.

tl;dr Podcast & Blogs

Features in this release may be included in product blogs and our product podcast, the Canvas tl;dr. For related links, check the Canvas Release Archive for this release date.

Feature Enhancements

The release notes indicate available functionality for a feature. If you want to see any future development planned for any features included in these notes, please visit the Roadmap. Have an idea you don't see prioritized in the next three months? Visit the Idea Conversations page.

Feature Support

All items listed in the release notes are immediately available for testing in the Canvas beta environment, unless otherwise indicated. If functionality in the beta environment does not match the functionality shown in the release notes, please submit a support case through your institution's preferred method as shown in your Global Navigation Help Menu. The Canvas Support Team can help escalate behaviors that may need to be resolved before they are deployed to the production environment, which takes place on the date of these release notes. When submitting a case, please indicate that the behavior is occurring in the beta environment.

Labels (1)
Comments

For the new Recent History feature, will that show activity that occurred when someone "acted as" the student?

I am on my laptop using the recommended 1600 x 900 screen resolution.  As it relates to the new "History" button in the global navigation menu, here's a side-by-side comparison of what our "Production" environment looks like on my screen compared to when the "History" button is added.  Why is this happening?  I even tried putting our "Help and Resources" (custom name) menu back to just "Help", but that didn't help eliminate the scroll bar and, more importantly, the issue of the "Dashboard" and "Commons" text going to the next line.  Any way this can be fixed?

ScreenResolution.jpg 

For comparison, here is the same interface on my PC at work with a 1920 x 1080 screen resolution.

ScreenResolution2.jpg

Has anyone seen any data displayed for History? I'm looking my Beta instance but when I click History, nothing is displayed, the circle keeps spinning. I realize that Beta is always slow, but I've tried this 3 times and gave it 5+ minutes to load, but nothing. What about everyone else?

I have the same question as@andrewg1 . If an admin acts as a user, will those page views be included in the user's History?

 

I don't see any mention of the items from October's roadmap. Are these items (e.g. final grade override in gradebook history) expected to make it into this release?

"History" seems a little ambiguous.  How about something like "Recents" or the like?

I'm having the same problem as @Sylvia_Ami and have the same question as @andrewg1 

 

The new History feature sounds and looks like a game changer. This will provide huge value for our RTO. Make it happen, Canvas. To the people who have made this possible, I applaud you.

To be honest with you, I always hide the text labels on the Global Navigation bar. Having a scroll bar next to it makes the view cluttered.

The new banner in the account and course notification settings only appears for a split second and then disappears. This happens in both Firefox and Chrome, recent versions (tested in incognito window). I have submitted a ticket to support.

@Sylvia_Ami, I also don't see anything in the History, just an empty slide out (not even a spinning wheel). I wonder whether this is supported on beta, because in user's page views on beta you also don't see anything. Previously, the release notes mentioned if a feature was supported on beta and test. It seems this has disappeared after the switch to the new community platform.

I am seeing the same as @chofer on my laptop with resolution 1920x1080, but it only seems to happen if I move a browser window with an already active Canvas session from my large screen to the laptop screen. If I open Canvas while the browser window is on the laptop screen, it does not happen.

Hello, friends!

Acting as a user doesn't have any effect on this feature.

Also, we mistakingly didn't include the mention that page views are not supported in the beta environment, so you won't be able to see any activity when viewing the link in the beta environment. I've added that information to the release notes.

@milesl since the release takes place in the middle of the month, items mentioned in the roadmap may be part of the current month's release notes or the following month's release notes.

Thanks,

Erin

 

 

These notes say that the History list will show activity for the last 3 weeks. Does that mean it will list every page the user visited? For example, if the user visited 100 pages in the last 3 weeks, will there be a really long list and a scroll bar? I'm assuming that if a user visited a specific page multiple times, only the  most recent visit will be listed, is that right? Or will it be more like looking at the user's Page Views (but with user-friendly page names)?

Will there be an option to turn off the Recent History link? As mentioned by others, the addition makes the global navigation bar more cluttered. 

@amber92 Some custom JavaScript and CSS would work, even if there's not an option built-in to the Canvas application. This would be an alternative way to customize the global navigation menu. 

In checking the Recent History feature in Beta from an admin account, I am seeing a lot of links to courses I have not recently visited at all. When I check those links against my Page Views activity in the production environment, I see that it is pulling a lot of "query_string_redacted" hits as actual page views from different courses.  So, it's very inaccurate from an admin account.  When testing from an instructor account, I am not seeing any hits, as others have mentioned.  Not sure how useful this will be.  Is it possible to disable or set it to "allow" so we can test further?  Thanks.

@Sylvia_Ami calculating page views in Canvas isn't exactly cut and dry, so it's possible some users will have longer lists than others. But yes, if a user visits one page multiple times, that page will move to the top of the list as the most recent, every time it is accessed. It isn't listed individually multiple times.

@hvaughn page views aren't supported in beta, so although you may see something there, what you see will in fact be inaccurate.

Hi there, would it be possible to test the history in beta? I get nervous when features get released straight into prod without community testing. I find that I am having to devote even more time to testing these features as soon as they appear in prod, because I find issues that I would have expected were picked up prior to production release. I then spend time working with level 1 support, having to convince them that there really is a problem, before they eventually escalate to level 2. In the meantime, I'm holding back comms, and hoping our users don't use the new feature until it is fixed. All resulting in me becoming a nervous-nelly. And nobody likes a nervous-nelly.

Hello there, is MathJax Equation Improvements available in beta? I think I saw a comment elsewhere that it was not yet available. I have not been able to make it visible myself, although may not be following the right steps to do so.

Hi @kirsten_ryall 

Unless the feature specifically notes in the summary table that it is not supported in beta, you can view it in the beta environment. The MathJax improvements are more of a backend change and you may not notice anything in the interface.

Recent History is not supported in the beta environment as page views are not supported in the beta environment.

Thanks,

Erin

Hi, all,

Release notes for November has been published: Canvas Release Notes (2020-11-21) - Canvas Community

Thanks,

Erin

 

Version history
Revision #:
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Last update:
‎10-15-2020 03:00 PM
Updated by: